No charges will be laid against a man who went missing after a deadly fire in a Sydney apartment block before handing himself in to police.


Jianwei “Jason” Zeng was believed to have been in the Bankstown apartment with two women when the blaze erupted on Thursday.

Images of him were released to the media on Friday following a police suggestion he may have been smoking on the balcony before the fire.

Mr Zeng, who managed to escape the fire before disappearing, presented himself to Surry Hills police station about 8.30pm (AEST) on Friday.

A NSW Police spokeswoman on Saturday said he would not be charged, but had been handed over to immigration authorities.

A woman identified in media reports as “Connie” died at the scene and her friend, Yino Jiang, 27, remains in Liverpool hospital with serious injuries after they jumped from the fifth storey.

Based on the damage, firefighters estimate temperatures would have reached 1000 degrees Celsius, forcing the pair to the window ledge from which they jumped.

“The fire door, which is meant to withstand fire for more than an hour, burnt through,” Fire and Rescue NSW Commissioner Greg Mullins said.

Firefighters have ruled out suspicious circumstances, but say the building would not pass safety standards in 2012.

The women’s only escape route was blocked by fire and a communal atrium area quickly filled with thick black smoke, making it difficult for other residents to get out.

“It’s not a design that we’d probably let through these days,” Mr Mullins said.

Private building certifier Barry Johnson, who issued construction and occupation certificates in 2009 for the unit block, told AAP he did not believe there was “anything in that building that’s a problem that contributed to the fire”.

But he later told Fairfax Media a roof over the atrium believed to have hindered residents’ escape was not included in the plans he approved.

NSW Greens MP David Shoebridge said the fire had exposed a “dysfunctional split” between the roles of councils and private certifiers.

“Too often neither the private certifier or the local council is willing to accept responsibility to remedy a building defect and the end result is nothing happens,” he said in a statement.

He said oversight for building standards needed to be returned to local councils.

NSW Planning Minister Brad Hazzard said the investigation into the fire may lead to changes in building safety requirements.